Are Munde, Gadkari not worth leading Mah BJP, asks Congress

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Mumbai, Jan 21 (UNI) The Maharashtra Congress today ridiculed the demand of the state BJP urging Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to lead its campaign in the 2009 assembly elections.

''Does this mean that Maharashtra BJP leaders like Gopinath Munde and Nitin Gadkari are ineffective,'' Maharashtra Congress spokesman Hussain Dalwai asked.

Talking to reporters here, Mr Dalwai said that the state BJP leaders and Mr Modi did not mention the party's central leaders - Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Rajnath Singh even once.

''Was the rally to felicitate Mr Modi meant to boost his image as the only national leader. There were no crowds as expected at the rally,'' Mr Dalwai added.

Mr Dalwai also criticised Mr Modi for harping on 'communal budget'. He said that making budgetary provisions for the socially and economically backward sections of the society was mandated by the Constitution.

''The BJP does not want uplift of Muslims, a largely backward community,'' he added.

The Congress spokesman said that in Maharashtra, there existed an atmosphere of freedom of speech and trust unlike in Gujarat. ''Mr Modi should not speak of terrorism when he himself is a terror in his state for those who oppose him,'' he alleged.

UNI MR SR SBC HT1835

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